Nickwell, 41, a “bachelor”, says he started a relationship with Natalie Joy, 23, because their age gap made him anxious – Share Sunshine Life


Niceville opened up about the emotional “relapse” he experienced as a bachelor and shared that it led him back to his people-pleasing tendencies.

The 41-year-old, who has appeared on four shows on the ABC franchise, was asked on an episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast about how he deals with critics. While he said he thinks “the show does a better job” of providing support for contestants suffering from mental health issues, Vial admitted that he and the other alumni of the series don’t get much help when it comes to dealing with negativity and the hate that comes with it.

“The alumni really rely on each other,” Vail explained, noting that he and Ben Higgins became close friends on the same season of The Bachelorette. “We went through it and we connected with each other and we would call each other, especially when we said, ‘Man, I’m struggling. I’m stuck in a rabbit hole watching people be shit talking about me.’”

While the show has had villains and fan favorites in every season, Vial says it’s harmful to be subjected to what people think of him, whether it’s good or not.

“The problem is that if you read any reviews and you don’t know any of these people, if you start reading the positive and start believing it, it usually validates the review, and that subconsciously means you have to believe the negative. And then you fall down that rabbit hole, and it’s really kind of toxic,” he explains. “What other people think about us is irrelevant, but we get exposed to what everyone thinks about us.”

For Vial, who says he’s put a lot of effort into making a good impression before, trying to gain unanimous acceptance and support from viewers has been detrimental to his mental health.

“Especially my first season, I was the villain and I got a lot of criticism, and I would meet people in person, so they’d say, ‘Gosh, you’re nothing like I expected you to be. You look good, or you’re taller than I thought you were,’ whatever the f **** that is. So I was kind of obsessed with meeting as many people as possible, and then I realized that I was just trying to convince everyone to like me, and it was such an empty feeling. It reminded me of when I was dating in my twenties,” he explains. “For me, continuing The Bachelor was like a relapse.”

Weir went on to explain that after growing up with the example of his parents’ long marriage, he spent his twenties “chasing love and chasing relationships. “I felt like I needed to prove that I would be a good partner,” he says. As he grew up, he had to forget some parts of that in order to get better at relationships. But eventually, the program brought it out of him again.

“Everything I had learned and taught myself about controlling my ego instead of seeking approval was out the window. And then I went into this world and fell in love, I mean I had real feelings and it just shocked me because when I left, I felt like I had gone back to the person that I tried so hard and put so much effort into getting away from,” he said.

Vial ended the team’s outing after leading Season 21 of “The Bachelor” where he got engaged to Vanessa Grimaldi. After ending their relationship in August 2017, Veal explained that he was ultimately happy with being single. When he started hanging out with his now-girlfriend Natalie Joy, who slipped into his Instagram direct messages, their 18-year-old age difference was his biggest concern.

“At first, I think it was something I was very anxious about. Would we be compatible? I think early on that was part of what I was worried about. But the more I got to know her, the more I just looked to her for advice or just to connect with her. I just felt like we met on the same wavelength, and I always felt like she was my equal,” he explains. “So other than that, it really didn’t have an impact. But earlier on it was something I had to get over. It was a problem for me.”

Vial says Joey “knew I was self-conscious about it” and tried to remind him that the age gap wasn’t a factor. Eventually, the way he talked about her with his friends made him realize it didn’t matter.

“I always remember talking to certain friends, and I would wish the gap didn’t exist because I wouldn’t be nervous about it. I always just talked about all the things I liked about her or that she would do for me,” he says. “I’m a big person. I don’t always feel like the person that I can relate to, no matter what age. With her, I never felt this disconnect.”


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